From left: Bass, Glass and Barnes. Photo by Adrianne Mathiowetz, Courtesy Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host.
Monica Bill Barnes, Anna Bass and Ira Glass. While one of these is not like the other, the uncanny combination has made the touring show Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host a runawaysuccess. It's the subject of the latest episode of Dance Magazine's web series "Behind the Curtain," which follows choreographer and performer Barnes to Durham, North Carolina, where she, Bass and Glass were mounting their show. Be a fly on the wall as she tests out set pieces in tech rehearsal, warms up backstage and mingles at a post-show reception (fireworks included).
Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host is a feast for the eyes—full of sequins and balloons—and the episode gives viewers a peek at many of its dance numbers. Even more interesting, though, is seeing Glass, host of "This American Life," navigate and understand Barnes' creative process, as well as what it takes to be a dancer. During one moment at the theater, he remarks on how many hours a day Barnes and Bass spend dancing between rehearsals and shows. How do they do it? "That's because you're not human," he says.
The show starts with Glass suggesting talking as a way to open. (Of course, the show has already begun.) Barnes disagrees, saying that movement would be a stronger choice. But, contests Glass, talking can plant an idea in the audience's heads to help set up the show. Not missing a beat, Barnes fires back: "I think the idea is movement."
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)
Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.
Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.
I'd been a professional dancer for five years when I realized the pain I'd been feeling in my hip and down my sciatic nerve was not going away. I had been treating it for two years as we dancers do—with regular visits to my masseuse, physical therapy, baths, ice and lots of Aleve—but I never stopped dancing. It finally dawned on me that if I kept going at the speed I was going (which was, well, speedy), the pain would only get more severe and unrelenting, and I might never dance again.
I told myself I'd take two months off, and all would be better.
That first morning when I woke up at 10 am, I had no idea what to do with myself. My life until that moment had been dictated by class and rehearsal, every hour accounted for. How should I fill the huge swath of time ahead of me?